As you should be able to understand at the end of this post, my aim in this message is to encourage you to cultivate a deep relationship with the Holy Spirit. First, however, pause for a moment and ponder over this: Would Joseph have chosen any of the following calamities that befell him?
- His brothers were jealous of him and hated him for his dreams.
- Then they sold him off as a slave to Egypt.
- There, his master’s wife lied against him and he ended up in jail.
- Finally, someone he had helped forgot him for two years.
At the time each of the following incidents was taking place, I’m pretty certain Joseph must have looked at them as bad experiences. I doubt he enjoyed anyone of them; who knows, he may even have prayed against them.
In retrospect, however, he saw them as gifts from God. He realized that it was good they happened. They weren’t negatives after all.
4"Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come close to me". When they had done so, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6"For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. 7But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8"So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay."
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
~ Genesis 50:20
Good or bad?
Have you ever looked back and thanked God for something you previously regarded as a misfortune? When you ponder over your life’s greatest testimonies, would you have chosen any of the options that produced your best testimonies? Most times, it is those scary storms and rejections that move you into your promised land.
How sound is your sense of what is, and what isn’t good?
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
~ Proverbs 14:12
In other words, you do not always know what is good for you. What you regard as good today, may turn out to be your undoing tomorrow. Similarly, what you consider bad today may well be your ticket to glory tomorrow.
Your sense of what is ultimately good for you is subject to your human limitations and flaws.
The Holy Spirit knows better
You and I really don’t know much about what is ultimately good or bad for us in the larger scheme of things. This is why you must not be hasty in prayers. And this is why you must yield to the Holy Spirit in your prayers.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
~ Romans 8:26
So, what is good for you?
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
~ Psalm 84:11
Now you get a fresh angle to it; it might not look good to you at the moment; in fact, it might even look as the worst thing that ever happened to you. Nevertheless, in the light of today’s message, you know better than to rush into conclusions.
Today’s misfortune may well turn out to be tomorrow’s joy.